Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Rocket, Potato Chips, The Liberty Bell, and Greyhound Busses

My life in New York is full of blessings.

Monday night, I finally did what every sports fan must do at some point in life or another (and unfortunately they've only got the rest of this season, and next season to do so). I went to a game in Yankee Stadium. They're building a completely pointless 1.3 BILLION dollar new stadium across the street rather than using that money for something necessary, like, oh I dunno, world hunger. They're demolishing the current one. You could feed an African country for a year on 1.3 billion dollars! George Constanza never would have stood for this!

Part of me, you know, the part that is dedicated to the Red Sox, advised against attending the game, seeing as how if it were revealed that I was a Boston fan, I might have gotten thrown off the Tier. Fortunately, no murders occured at the game, except for that of the poor Minnesota Twins. I witnessed history, the Rocket (that guy who sold his soul to the Yankees), pitched win #350, and though being there for that meant that the Yankees had to win, it was definitely something that not many people can say that they saw (about 63,000 to be exact-but think of that number in terms of the 6 billion people on earth). I am beyond grateful to the mission team up at Graffiti 2 for allowing Ashley to invite friends.

While at the game, Laura called me and told me that she had seen that I had received her package. This was a fact I was unaware of, but it didn't take me long to figure out that this unseen package contained the Louisiana delicacy I'd been craving since I stepped off the plane- Tabasco chips. First thing in the morning on Tuesday, I ran downstairs to ask if anyone had seen this package. No one knew what I was talking about. Sad times.

A few hours later, David, the new guy, came up to Emas office holding a large brown box with my name on it. I immediately grabbed the scissors and ripped it open, finding in it FIVE beautiful red and green bags! I called Laura to tell her I'd finally gotten them, and then opened a bag and shared it with Ema- to prove to her that my insane craving was not, in fact, insane. Laura told me she had sent me four bags so they'd last a while, but I informed her that she had sent me five, which took her by surprise. I then noticed that there was a Baton Rouge address on the box. Slightly strange, but in my excitement, I disregarded it.

Not much later I decided that there must be a reason the return address was not in Ruston, so I opend the letter inside, which I was waiting to read until after work, only to find out that these chips were not from Laura, they were from Josh. This was completely unexpected, so even though the surpise factor of receiving chips from Laura had been taken away when she called me, it was restored when I realized that these were not Laura's chips.

Doing the math?

Yes, that means that when I finally found Laura's chips (which had gotten there Friday but were tucked away into the wrong place), I had a total of NINE bags of Zapps Creole Tomato Tobasco chips. To the both of you, I am beyond grateful! (Laura also sent me the sports page from the Shreveport newspaper to keep me up on what is going on in Louisiana sports, in case I was out of the loop...)

In the midst of all this, Kyle finally convinced me that missing the Macy's fireworks show I'd been looking forward to all summer would not be all that bad, and that spending Independence Day in the place where that whole independence thing occured would be way better. So after a fabulous cooking class/small group devotional thing at church lead by the one-and-only Theresa Osbourne, Kyle and Charlotte spent the night here at the Association, where we watched National Treasure and got ourselves pumped up for the long day ahead. We left my apartment at 6:35ish en route for the Port Authority Bus Terminal. By 6:45 we were on the bus. Because tickets do not guarantee you a seat on a particular bus, we got there over an hour before the bust was to leave, so imagine our surprise when it pulled out at 7 oclock. Apparently we'd gotten on the 7 bus rather than the 8 bus, which means we got to Philly over an hour earlier than expected.

This was the beginning of a long and super fun day in the City of Brotherly Love. We started out in the historic district, hitting up the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, etc... Because we were in Philly, we had to have a Philly cheese steak for lunch. We walked to the Deleware, which is crossed by the absolutely beautiful Benjamin Franklin bridge, then wandered aimlessly looking for things to do. We wound up in a someone questionable area, and decided to turn around, but looked up and saw the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site. This was the house where he lived when he was in Philadelphia. It is the best preserved house I've ever visited. The National Parks service stripped the paint from the walls because apparently, Poe lived in the house when it was first built and houses could not be painted back then when they were first built because it took a few years for plaster to settle. The floors were all original, and there was no furniture because no record exists of the furniture in the house (and you wouldn't want just some random furniture around misleading you about what it actually looked like when they lived there). The guy running the place was one of the nicest people ever, and was very passionate about his job. The tour was self-guided but he was there ready to answer questions (and boy did he know the answers). He warned us not to go any farther north so we headed back downtown.

The rest of the day was alot of aimless wandering. I determined that Philadelphia is the cleanest city I've ever been to. I don't recall seeing any trash in the downtown area at all, and there was no "signature stench" like there is in most cities (New Orleans's being a mixture of vomit and beer). Unfortunately, the 4th of July festivities were taking place in front of the art museum, so there was no running up the stairs, and no taking pictures with the Rocky statue. We found the Eastern State Penetentiary, which was way awesome but was closing for the rest of the day when we arrived, so no tour for us.

Then came the rain! It rained and rained and rained and rained. We found a spot in front of a branch of the art museum across from the main one, where we settled in. We huddled up in a corner of the covered entranceway, set our umbrelleas out in front of us, and played the kind of games you play on a road trip for an hour-and-a-half or so, only to find out that the rain was not dying down, so the fireworks were cancelled. By eleven thirty, after walking through the rain back to the bus station, we were over half way there (which was clear across town), and the cops told us that fireworks were back on. So we turned around, walked a few blocks to place where we had a clear view, and stood in the center of Benjamin Franklin Parkway, along with thousands of other people who'd done the same thing as us, and watched a spectacular show. It was one of those moments that's burned in my brain, not the fireworks show so much and the blessing of it all. Such a perfect end to a glorious day. I just kept thinking of how amazing it was that after all the crazy weather, and even though we were exhausted, God allowed the rain to stop for long enough to let us see a wondeful show in the middle of the streets of Philadelphia. I can't fully describe the feeling, but it was something I will never forget.

The ride home was not nearly as comfy as the ride over there, we were in the bus depot for over two hours, an hour of which was spent sitting on the floor near the front of the line waiting to get on. The bus was late arriving, and then was PACKED, which means its a good thing we were at the front of the line because alot of people were turned away to wait for the next bus. I sat next to a guy who was way to relaxed and therefore I was only able to use a little more than half of my seat, and since he did not speak English, and I do not speak any more Spanish than is necessary to tell Mexican children to quite down, calm down, stop touching me, etc..., I learned to deal with it. There were also several groups of people speaking in very loud Spanish all over the bus. I slept for the entirity of the trip, minus the part where the guy got up to go to the bathroom, and when I stood up to let him back in, he kept telling me somehting in Spanish and wouldn't sit down (I think he wanted to give me the window seat, but I was half asleep and all I wanted was for him to sit down before I passed out standing up). The next thing I knew, we were in the Lincoln tunnel, and within fifteen minutes, I was at my apartment. What a blessing to be able to sleep despite the horrid bus conditions.

Fourth of July has always been my favorite holiday, and once again, it was wonderful. This was one of those adventures I will remember forever!

This is an interesting article about my block. Apparently, I live in the old New York Edison showroom- HOW COOL IS THAT? Thanks to Josh for sending it to me.

(sorry this was so long, I had alot to say, and you probably didn't read it all anyway)

No comments: